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Old 01-08-2010, 03:54 AM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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Is there any way to ship packages overseas cheaply these days?

Much to my surprise, I found out that a couple of years ago the US postal service discontinued its service of shipping parcels overseas by surface mail. It would take a couple of months to get there, but it was cheap. (maybe like $50 for a box of books)

But now I'm finding that everything is airmail and costing a couple of hundred dollars at a minimum.

So is there any way to ship one-off packages out of the US for cheap these days? Courier service or buying a small space within a shipping container, or what?
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:31 AM
Askance Askance is offline
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Subbing to this thread, I'd love to know. There seems to be nothing affordable between a letter and a shipping container.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:45 AM
racer72 racer72 is offline
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Keep your package weight under 4 pounds and you can use first class mail parcel, this costs less than $20 to many countries.
  #4  
Old 01-08-2010, 07:52 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer72 View Post
Keep your package weight under 4 pounds and you can use first class mail parcel, this costs less than $20 to many countries.
Only if you use those little boxes. I sent something to Ireland in December and it cost $40 for a box of toys and such that was under 4 pounds. It was one of those as much as you can boxes and when I was told it would be the same if it was 4 pounds or 20 I took it home and stuffed more stuff into it.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:26 AM
Fuzzy Dunlop Fuzzy Dunlop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward The Head View Post
Only if you use those little boxes. I sent something to Ireland in December and it cost $40 for a box of toys and such that was under 4 pounds. It was one of those as much as you can boxes and when I was told it would be the same if it was 4 pounds or 20 I took it home and stuffed more stuff into it.
That's the Priority Mail International Flat Rate service. First Class Mail International is a cheaper service up to 4 pounds. It's their most economical way to send letters and small packages internationally. It's very slow and there's no tracking or delivery confirmation available.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:30 AM
Fuzzy Dunlop Fuzzy Dunlop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward The Head View Post
Only if you use those little boxes. I sent something to Ireland in December and it cost $40 for a box of toys and such that was under 4 pounds. It was one of those as much as you can boxes and when I was told it would be the same if it was 4 pounds or 20 I took it home and stuffed more stuff into it.
FYI - 4 pounds to Ireland on First Class Mail International would be $31.40. Two pounds would be $17.64.
  #7  
Old 01-08-2010, 11:32 AM
Raza Raza is offline
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FWIW, our online art business has been looking for the cheapest + reliable international shipping option for several years, and the best we've found is Priority Mail International or Express Mail International. Our business has the dilemma of having to use 25-inch long tubes. I think a 2-pound tube shipped to the UK via EMI costs about $35.

I'd love to find something cheaper (but reliable), because there is a great interest in our products internationally, but I don't blame customers not wanting to pay $35 shipping on a $10 print.
  #8  
Old 01-08-2010, 11:43 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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The Airmail M-Bags are probably still the cheapest way to go if you're shipping printed matter only to one overseas address.
  #9  
Old 01-08-2010, 03:12 PM
brickbacon brickbacon is offline
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So how do all those ebay sellers in Hong Kong and China ship things to an individual address here in the US so cheaply?
  #10  
Old 01-08-2010, 05:16 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickbacon
So how do all those ebay sellers in Hong Kong and China ship things to an individual address here in the US so cheaply?
By paying Hong Kong and Chinese postal rates instead of US ones?
  #11  
Old 01-08-2010, 06:55 PM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koxinga View Post
Much to my surprise, I found out that a couple of years ago the US postal service discontinued its service of shipping parcels overseas by surface mail. It would take a couple of months to get there, but it was cheap. (maybe like $50 for a box of books)

But now I'm finding that everything is airmail and costing a couple of hundred dollars at a minimum.

So is there any way to ship one-off packages out of the US for cheap these days? Courier service or buying a small space within a shipping container, or what?
I went to the post office this week for stamps. I noticed they ship using FedEx now.
  #12  
Old 01-08-2010, 07:12 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Originally Posted by Jormungandr View Post
I went to the post office this week for stamps. I noticed they ship using FedEx now.
It goes both ways -- some USPS shipments go by FedEx (at least part way), and some FedEx shipments go by USPS (at least part way). They have worked out a very nice partnership.
  #13  
Old 01-09-2010, 02:54 AM
Peanuthead Peanuthead is offline
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Yeah, the USPS rates are high. I paid about $43 to send a small package to Singapore and the value of the contents was less than $10.

But you can send a large box (approx. 20"x20"x20" with no weight limit) from Chicago to the Philippines for about $75 through one of the local shipping services. Check the phone book or a Filipino newspaper for details. They are called "Balikbayang Boxes" and they are shipped by ocean freighter. Might take a month or so but anything nonperishiable is okay. And when the box is delivered they take a photo of the recipient receiving the box and send it to you so you know it arrived safely. It is a very popular sevice in the Filipino community and if something similar is not available to other countries I see an opportunity waiting to be captured.
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